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WVU notebook: Starting quarterback yet to be determined for regular-season finale | TribLIVE.com
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WVU notebook: Starting quarterback yet to be determined for regular-season finale

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Quarterback Skyler Howard nearly rallied West Virginia last week against Kansas State after replacing Clint Trickett.

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen on Tuesday said he does not know who will start at quarterback in Saturday’s regular-season finale at Iowa State.

Clint Trickett, who has started every game for the Mountaineers (6-5, 4-4 Big 12), suffered a concussion during the third quarter of WVU’s 26-20 loss to Kansas State on Thursday. With his team trailing 20-3, sophomore Skyler Howard, a junior college transfer in his first WVU season, replaced Trickett and nearly engineered a comeback.

Holgorsen said he and his staff “will continue to evaluate the situation” through Friday “to see exactly who’s going to be getting the reps.”

Trickett did not practice Tuesday but Holgorsen said he “would expect” him to practice Wednesday.

Howard, who had thrown two incompletions prior to the Kansas State game, completed 15 of 23 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also scrambled three times for 16 yards.

Trickett has played well most of the season but lately has cooled off against some stout defenses. The K-State game was his worst — 12 of 25, 112 yards and two interceptions.

Nevertheless, Holgorsen said Trickett, a fifth-year senior, will start against the Cyclones (2-8, 0-7) if cleared by doctors. He suffered two concussions last season, including one in which he failed to report symptoms because he wanted to keep playing.

“Clint is our starting quarterback,” Holgorsen said. “He’s been our starting quarterback for 11 games. He’s been a huge part of our success that we’ve had offensively. He’s done a great job for us. He’s dinged up right now. It’s still unknown as far as what’s going to happen.”

Despite his recent problems, Trickett ranks seventh nationally in passing yards (3,285) while completing 67 percent of his passes. He also has been sacked 26 times, the second-highest total in the Big 12.

Security issues

West Virginia has lost 16 fumbles this season. Holgorsen has tried nearly everything to fix that.

“Ball security is a problem,” he said. “I can assure you we’ve talked about it. I can assure you we addressed (it). I haven’t ignored it. We’ve worked on it. I’ve obsessed over it. We’ve read books about it. We’ve made them write books on it. We’ve talked about it. We’ve shown videos. We’ve done virtually every single thing, including coach punt returners to be able to possess the ball. I’m clearly failing when it comes to getting our guys to understand the importance of possessing the ball.”

Making the cut

Senior receiver Kevin White is one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, and sophomore kicker Josh Lambert is among the final three for the Lou Groza Award.

White ranks third nationally in receptions per game (8.9) and fourth in total receiving yards (1,270). Lambert is No. 1 in field goals per game (2.18). He has booted four field goals of 50 yards or longer and 13 from at least 40 yards, one short of the FBS record.

Bob Cohn is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. Reach himat [email protected].

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